Security Alert – U.S. Embassy Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (December 6, 2020)
Location: Saudi Arabia
Event: The U.S. Mission to Saudi Arabia periodically reissues and highlights best security practices for U.S. citizens residing in or visiting the country. Following is the latest security and safety information available.
The Department of State’s August 31, 2020 Travel Advisory states the need to “exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism and the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian targets.” The Advisory notes that “terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Saudi Arabia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.” The U.S. Mission strongly encourages all U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and to follow the recommended “actions to take” below.
Actions to Take:
1. Stay informed: Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive e-mails about travel and security information, citizen newsletters, and other messages important to American citizens in Saudi Arabia. Sign up for our SMS alerts to receive urgent security alerts.
2. Follow us on Twitter at @KSA_ACS.
3. Review the Department of State’s Saudi Arabia Travel Advisory.
4. If you see something, say something. Notify local authorities immediately if you encounter unusual or suspicious activity. The local police can be reached at 999 or 911. Ambulances can be reached at 997. More emergency contact numbers can be found on our website.
6. In case of any security incidents, monitor local news sources for updates. In addition, check your email (if enrolled in STEP), and the American Citizen Services’ Twitter account (@KSA_ACS) for security updates from the U.S. Mission to Saudi Arabia.
7. Maintain awareness of your surroundings. Learn the names of landmarks such as parks, schools, places of business, etc. in case you need to call for help.
8. Identify safe areas (police stations, hospitals, Saudi government buildings, hotels, stores, or restaurants) in your area and how to get to them quickly.
9. Notify your emergency contacts when you will be out of town or traveling.
10. Avoid travelling alone, especially at night. Travel with a buddy. If you decide to travel alone, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
11. Put together a go-bag of essential items (such as local and U.S. currency, passports, medications, driver’s license, bank account information, insurance policies, credit cards, home inventories, and other important documents).
12. Do not be predictable. Vary your routes and times to and from work and locations routinely visited.
13. Avoid poorly lit areas. Utilize walkways with sufficient lighting and remove yourself immediately from any situation in which you feel uncomfortable.
14. Be cognizant of where you park your vehicle. Make sure the area is well lit. Walk around and inspect your vehicle to ensure it does not appear to be tampered with before re-entering it.
15. Maintain a low profile when out in public. Do your best not to draw attention to yourself.
16. Always carry your iqama, Saudi visa, or other evidence of your immigration status in Saudi Arabia. Keep a copy of your passport biographic page with you.
17. Keep a hard-copy list of important numbers inside your car, wallet, and home.
18. If there are others nearby when an incident occurs, get their attention to have police notified.
19. Save important locations in map applications on your phone (residence, hospitals, police stations) and understand how to get around the area without GPS.
20. Have a security plan in place for you and your family at your residence. Review the plan with your household frequently.
21. Discuss security with your household members. They should learn these best practices and follow them as appropriate. Ensure that all family members have key numbers saved in their phones.
22. In an emergency situation, your first contact should be with local authorities. In the case of an arrest or death, you should also contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
U.S. Embassy Riyadh
Abdullah Ibn Hudhafah As Sahmi Street Roundabout no. 9, Diplomatic Quarter Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Telephone: (966) (11) 488-3800
Fax: (966) (11) 488-7670
U.S. Consulate General Jeddah
Al Safa Street, Al Muhammadiyah District, near the new American School building
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Telephone: (966) (12) 220-5000
Fax: (966) (12) 220-5093
U.S. Consulate General Dhahran
Between KFUPM and King Abdulaziz Airbase, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Telephone: (966) (13) 330-3200
Fax: (966) (13) 330-6816
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 webpage for more information on COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia.
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.